The Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak launched the first phase of the River of Life (ROL) and Blue Pond project at Masjid Jamek (Mosque) , Kuala Lumpur (KL) on the evening of 28 August 2017. The ROL was launched in 2011 and is one of the projects under the Economic Transformation Program (ETP) – Greater Kuala Lumpur/Klang Valley initiative to make Kuala Lumpur a world-class city. It is aimed at reviving the Klang River and Gombak River within the city and transforming the banks into waterfront areas with economic and commercial value through river cleaning, beautification and land development. The first phase of the river beautification for Precinct 7 of the ROL project involves historic sites like Dataran Merdeka, Masjid Jamek and Central Market which are at the confluence of the two rivers where Kuala Lumpur was founded in 1857. A new attraction is the pedestrian bridge which link Masjid Jamek with the Sultan Abdul Samad Building and Dataran Merdeka, cutting travelling time by 50 per cent.
The ROL project have so far completed 110 km of cleaning works in eight rivers, namely Gombak River, Batu River, Jinjang River, Keroh River, Bunus River, Ampang River, Klang River and Keroyong River. ROL uses a river-cleaning method known as the ‘Interceptor system P7’ which will help improve water quality by holding-up and treating dirty drain water. The Interceptor pipes will divert waste water and refuse from homes, commercial premises and buildings to treatment plants to be treated before it is channelled back as IIB Class water (safe for recreational use with body contact) back to the rivers. The plants are capable of creating a natural conducive environment for aerobic micro-organisms to breed which could reduce bio-chemical oxygen demand of ammoniacal nitrogen and suspended solids.
The Blue Pond, a new icon in Kuala Lumpur, is the brainchild of the Prime Minister who wants to optimise the potential of the ROL area as catalysts of national economy and draw more tourists to the area. The blue pond will provide a view of the river with colourful lights and water fountains accompanied by music.
AECOM won the RoL Master Planning competition in April 2011 and completed the detail design of all eleven precincts under the river beautification segment of RoL for KL City Hall. The scope was extended to include project management and construction management services.